Dexter Review: A Stab at Rehab

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Following an incredible start to Dexter Season 7, I legitimately had no idea what to expect from "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl."

Eleven episodes still remain this season, Showtime has already announced another season on the way. Deb already knows her brother is a serial killer. Where could things possibly go from here?!?

I'm not sure how I feel about the immediate answer.

Dexter and Debra

I've said it many times before: I'm sick of Dexter trying to fix himself, attempting to pretend he can somehow be "normal." It always ends the same way, with the realization that his Dark Passenger is part of who he is and that's that.

Granted, in this case it was Deb who set out to change her sibling, but the general theme of whether Dexter can stop killing remains the same. He can't. We know this already, even if he did seem temporarily cured by sparing Louis' life because he made a promise to Deb.

What would have been the alternative to Deb's attempt at the most unusual of rehab facilities? I don't know. Clearly she wouldn't partner with him or simply turn the other way. And it's too soon in the series' endgame for her to actively pursue Dexter. So we're left with what feels like a brief respite, whereby the show treads water and sets up what I imagine to be some kind of significant confrontation between brother and sister.

My other complain centers around the contrived episode's cold case. We've also seen this many times before (with Prado, with Trinity): Dexter using someone else as an example of how he could end up.

It was awfully convenient that a murderer just happened to contact the police... just happened to claim he made peace with his dark side... and then just happened to jump in front of a truck, causing Dexter to wonder if that's his future. I don't want Dexter wondering about anything or taking any sort of internal inventory. I want him on the run! Setting up a kill! Evading capture!

For that reason, my favorite storyline from the installment involved Louis. He really does create an interesting conundrum for Dexter, and not simply because he made that non-serial-killing vow to Deb.

Louis does not fit in to Harry's code. Yes, he's a threat and, sure, he's beyond creepy. But Dexter isn't supposed to take out anyone who hasn't committed a heinous crime. How will he handle this situation?

Finally, we saw a glimpse of how ruthless Ray Stevenson's mob boss can be, but that arc remains in the background. It's difficult to get overly invested (no offense, Mike; RIP, buddy.) when the Dexter/Deb interactions (rightfully) are dominating the season so far.

So a few complaints overall and a bit of a letdown from the stellar opener. But I'm still anxious for what comes next and, let's face it: there were no imaginary history professors, so Season 7 remains eons above Season 6.


Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


this season is infinitely better than season 6. season six was such a letdown. season 5 was ok. anyway, this season is so good. i honestly wish they wouldnt have another big bad, but they havent spent much time on him so far, lets keep it that way. anyway, if the quality remains this good for the next two seasons, then the show can go out on a high note, just like when it started


has anyone noticed that the same things keep happening in Dexter and in Hawaii Five O? totally diffenent show - but Ed Asner stepped in front of a truck last week on H50, the felon did the same in Dexter this week; in the last season both Danno and Deb managed to talk landlords into renting flats / beach-houses out for low rents where murders had taken place... I'm sure I noticed other stuff last season.... but can't recall right now


The good thing so far is Ray Steveson, he aged beautifully. Very sexy attractive man.


I've waited for this moment since the end of season two and this is it? Drug rehab for Dexter's killing addiction? I don't know much about the nuts and bolts of the show, but did all of the good writers leave after season 2? This is awful, just awful.


So the preview at the end revealed that Yvonne Strahovski is finally making her appearance next week. Can't hardly wait!!


Has anyone else come to the conclusion that there are just too many good shows on Sunday night and it is impossible to watch them all! Possible a very good reason why they are all not doing as well as they should. TV ANYONE listening? Why oh why is EVERYTHING on this one night? What's up with that? Please, schedule for your viewers, not to compete with a time slot or another popular show. Something is amiss and WE are the losers here! Anyone???


I can probably live with the new Deb/Dex dynamic, but an annoying LaGuerta getting more air time would be hard to stomach ....
Developing great villains like the Lithgow season, and others in the first 60 perfect episode is the formula ...


I like this season better than the last one. The whole thing with Deb is something new and fresh. I'm not sure if I could stand another season with a big Bad that Dexter will kill in the end. With this season and the Debra situation I can't see how they'll play it out, so I think we're off to a good start.

Sue ann

@ mortimer In season two, Dexter had a problem when the FBI set up surveillance cameras at the marina where he kept his boat. Lundy did not get an opportunity to see the footage of Dexter washing down his boat to remove all evidence, because Dexter pulled the fire alarm, and removed it from the computer. The cameras exist when they further the story, and do not when they would hinder telling it in 42 minutes. There are surely other glossings-over of true times and procedures, in the interest of moving it along. Other shows do that, too.


Dexter has killed people who haven't committed crimes to protect himself...

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